Ants Flood NYC Apartments
By: Jayden Yao
Around May, it seemed as if ants had intruded into an apartment building in New York
City. Colonies of ants were found on the second and third floors. The ants later even
went to the tallest story of the building.
However, this was not the only building that had an ant problem. Many other apartment
buildings around the city noticed the same reddish-brown body and brown head all over
their apartment. Melissa Russell Paige said, “they just showed up one day,” also noting
the fact that she had never had an insect issue for over 8 years.
These ants are not looking for human food, however. Dr. Rob Dunn says that the ants
go into these apartments and buildings in search of water and will not stay for long. He
also stated, “It [the ants] nests under logs, and in all the studies we’ve done, it prefers to
have some natural habitat.”
Dr. Dunn notes, “This is one of the things that I’m trying to figure out. When ants are
living in really urban habitats, they tend to eat a lot of human foods and they’re able to
shift their diets towards more human foods. But this ant, even though it’s living in the
most urban habitat, does not appear to be consuming human foods.”
These ants are not invincible, as they can easily be killed using normal ant baits.
However, Jerry Walsh of Mayday Hardware in Prospect Heights warned against the use
of these ant baits. Walsh says, “It’s a little too potent to use indoors because the ant
does not drop dead on the spot. They will carry that poison wherever they travel. So you
don’t want that going over your clean dishware. You’ll think that you have a 24-hour
stomach virus when indeed what you’re experiencing is a mild case of stomach
So, where did these ants come from? Samantha Kennet says that they likely came from
Europe and were passed via ships. They were first spotted in 2011.
It seems that the only positive thing these ants have given us is the decreased
population of rodents throughout the buildings.